"If I could Percy, honestly, I would take these stitches out and still fight on the 19th. I gotta get approval now and I have these stitches in and my goal was to not say anything to nobody. I did that before when I fought Joel Julio. I had got headbutted in camp and got 6 or 8 stitches and that was like 2 to 3 weeks before the fight. I went and got stitched up and fought Julio with the cut and it never opened up. My mentality is always to fight, so if I could fight on the 19th, I would, but obviously it's out of my hands now and I gotta realize I'm a champion now and I can't give my opponents an advantage," stated IBF jr. middleweight champion Ishe Smith, who spoke about the recent injury he suffered that will postpone his July 19 title defense against Carlos Molina. Check it out!
PC: Disappointing news out of your camp. You suffered a cut and had to postpone your fight with Molina. Tell us about it, man.
IS: This was one of those freak things that happens in the gym where I end up getting a thumb right to the right place and it opened a cut.
PC: What was the process from the cut actually occurring to the postponement of the fight?
IS: It was hard because as soon as it happened, I can feel the blood dripping down in my eye. It was the worst cut that I have ever had as a boxer, period, in my 27 years in the sport. The first thing I asked Eddie when I went to my corner was, "We good?" He said, "I don't think so, champ." And I said, "I can fight, man. Is it deep?" And he was like, "Yeah, it's pretty deep." And I suggested that we were still fighting and he pretty much said no we're not. He actually drove me to the Emergency Room, and the whole ride we were arguing about fighting or not and we called Leonard. I wasn't even worried about the cut. I was worried about getting stitched up because, in my mind, I was fighting. I'm a fighter; I fight. I pleaded and begged, but I got overruled by everybody on the team, so I was on that island by myself. I understood where they were coming from, but I fight, that's what I do, and it was tough to take their words and shut it down.
PC: I know you weren't thinking it at the time, but it's good to have people on your side who have your best interest.
IS: Yeah! Eddie will always look out for me, so to have him there is important. But it was disappointing because I had so many people coming, and to get to defend my title in front of my fans and in front of my hometown and to put 8 weeks of work in training to have it end like this sucks.
PC: Was that the most disappointing aspect of this postponement is that most of the work was already done?
IS: You don't ever want an injury to happen because you never want anything to derail your fight. I put in so much time and I was in the best shape of my life. There were some days where I was just on the money. I was getting great work from all of my sparring partners and I was just real sharp. To have it end in the 8th week with only 2 weeks left of training is the hardest thing to accept because I truly was in tremendous shape.
PC: Will they move forward with the card or will the entire card be rescheduled?
IS: I would hope they would keep it going, but that's not up to me. That would be up to Showtime and Leonard and Stephen Espinoza and Floyd, but I would hope so; those guys have been training really hard and have been doing a tremendous job in camp as well. Whatever I could do to promote the card still, I would do, but I would hope they keep it together, and if not, maybe those guys can fight on some other card. We had all been training really hard. Like I said, to have it end like this is just heartbreaking.
PC: What's the timetable to you training again and what's the ideal date in your mind to do this Molina fight?
IS: If I could Percy, honestly, I would take these stitches out and still fight on the 19th. I gotta get approval now and I have these stitches in and my goal was to not say anything to nobody. I did that before when I fought Joel Julio. I had got headbutted in camp and got 6 or 8 stitches and that was like 2 to 3 weeks before the fight. I went and got stitched up and fought Julio with the cut and it never opened up. My mentality is always to fight, so if I could fight on the 19th, I would, but obviously it's out of my hands now and I gotta realize I'm a champion now and I can't give my opponents an advantage. I haven't talked to Leonard. We spoke briefly yesterday, but I haven't talked to anybody about possible dates. I gotta take it easy for a couple of weeks, then I get the stitches out and no contact for a while, but I will be in the gym. There are a couple of big cards coming up. Floyd's card, maybe that's a possibility. I don't know, but the good thing Percy is I'm in tremendous shape and I'm not gonna let that go, even if I just maintain it. But I'm not gonna lose what I have and start from square one.
PC: I appreciate the time. I hope you have a speedy recovery and they can get this thing rescheduled soon. You had a lot of support on Twitter and Facebook, so what would you like to say to those supporters?
IS: I just want to tell the fans thanks; you guys have been supportive throughout and inspired me at times when I needed that inspiration to go forward. I just want to thank them for all of the prayers and well wishes. I will be back; these things happen. I'm very disappointed, obviously, because I can't fight in front of my fans and in my hometown. That hurts because Showtime made this special Friday night attraction for me and I apologize to Showtime as well. These things happen. I look forward to getting back in there soon and God bless you guys and thank you!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]